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The Peoples Democratic Party says the call by a former Minister of Defence, Lt. Gen.Theophilus Danjuma(retd.), that Nigerians should defend themselves against killers is a testimony of the “tragic situation which the  Muhammadu Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress have dragged the nation into.”


Danjuma had, on Saturday at the maiden convocation of the Taraba State University, told Nigerians to defend themselves against killers, saying the Nigerian Armed Forces were not ready to defend them.

He had said, “There is an attempt at ethnic cleansing in the state (Taraba) and of course, some rural states in Nigeria, we must resist it. We must stop it. Everyone of us must rise up. Our armed forces are not neutral. They collude with the bandits to kill people, kill Nigerians… If you are depending on the armed forces to stop the killings, you will all die one by one.”

The PDP spoke in a statement issued on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, just as the Federal Government said Danjuma’s statement was an invitation to anarchy.

The opposition party said Danjuma’s statement had justified its stand that the Buhari Presidency and the APC must be held responsible for the agonising state of the nation.

It added that Nigerians were daily suffering because of the alleged failures of “a grossly incompetent leadership and a deceitful ruling party.”

The PDP said the statement coming from an army general, a former Chief of Army Staff and a former defence minister of Danjuma’s status was weighty and “directly reflects the ugly situation in the country under the APC.”

Ologbondiyan said the fact that communities were resorting to self-defence was a clear demonstration that Nigerians across board “have completely lost confidence in President Buhari and the APC.”

He said, “It is instructive to recall that former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida – both former military leaders, army generals and patriots – had earlier raised the issue of continuous bloodletting in our country under the APC and the Buhari presidency.

“Painfully, the APC-controlled Federal Government has not only failed in finding a solution, it is also contending with allegations of conspiracy and acts that are believed to have emboldened attacks against innocent Nigerians.

“Nigerians are no longer feeling secure in their land. Our country has, in close to three years, assumed a status of killing fields where defenceless citizens are despoiled, raped and mowed down by insurgents and marauders in Benue, Taraba, Yobe, Gombe, Kaduna, Adamawa, Borno, Plateau, Nasarawa, Rivers, Enugu, Kogi, among other states.

“Unfortunately, the Federal Government remains aloof and has failed to take decisive steps that will apprehend the masterminds of the carnage.”

The spokesperson for the main opposition party said the country was witnessing what he described as complete government insensitivity.

He also said there were allegations of complicity and compromise of security around soft targets and the dishing out of false information, as was the case in Benue, Yobe, Taraba and other states where Nigerians had come under heavy attacks from marauders under the Buhari administration.

He said, “More intriguing is that the Presidency and the APC Federal Government have refused to clear the air on their roles in the alleged compromise of security in troubled areas, particularly the reported withdrawal of troops from Dapchi prior to the abduction of the schoolgirls.

“Nigerians have also yet to see the action taken by President Buhari against the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, for flouting a presidential order that he should relocate to troubled Benue State in the heat of attacks on the state.

“Similarly, the strange silence of the Federal Government on the alleged importation of military equipment by APC interests in Kogi State remains ominous.

“The fact that we now have a situation where the government confesses to back-channel negotiations with insurgents, hasty offering of amnesty to marauders and killers, allegations of round-tripping in billions of naira on alleged shady ransom payments and swap deals with insurgents, also leaves much to be desired under the current circumstances.

“While we restate our call for a United Nations’ monitored independent inquest into the security situation in our country, we stand with Nigerians in our moment of national despair.”

However, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, said Danjuma’s comment was “highly uncalled for,” and an invitation to anarchy, asking Nigerians to report any member of the armed forces suspected to be colluding with herdsmen.

Dan-Ali spoke in a statement by his Public Relations Officer, Col. Tukur Gusau.

The statement read in part, “On a recent comment by one of the elder statesmen alleging that the military colludes with bandits to kill people and calling on them to rise and defend themselves, this is highly uncalled for and it is an invitation to anarchy. It should be disregarded by well-meaning Nigerians.

“The Armed Forces are professional in discharging their constitutional mandate. Therefore, if anyone has evidence of wrongdoing or dereliction of duty against our troops, he should bring forward such evidence through the appropriate channels for necessary action.”



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